When I travel I want to get as far away from Australia as possible. Europe, America, Canada – I want to go there because it’s foreign, it’s different, some might even say it’s exotic; but with this mentality I continue to neglect my own backyard.
I’m often emailed by readers, family or friends asking me where they should visit in Asia or even in rural Australia. Honestly, I can’t answer them. I’m a city dweller at heart.
Cities excite me, get my pulse racing and, with the exception of horse riding, the country is something I don’t understand. I really need to explore my own backyard.
Over the next two weeks I’ll be taking two exciting steps to explore my backyard, both near – in Victoria – and afar – in Asia.
Something Near – #MyMarysville
I didn’t explore my backyard growing up in Adelaide and I’m determined not to neglect getting outside of the city now that I’m living in Melbourne. This all starts with a trip to Marysville in country Victoria.
During February 2009 deadly bush fires swept through Victoria. Dubbed ‘Black Saturday’ the combination of high temperatures and winds caused the worst bushfire tragedy Australia has ever seen with over 173 deaths. The main damage occurred in and around Marysville.
Having risen for the ashes, 2013 is a year of celebration for Marysville as it’s the towns 150th year celebration. It’s a town that has found new life as the rebuilding continues and offers visitors a range of activities perfect for all types of travellers, from solo travellers, girls getaways or even families.
Over the next three-days I’ll be heading to Marysville to see first hand what the township has to offer. From the stunning drive up Black Spur – the area between Healesville and Marysville – to the family run Buxton Ridge Winery, Lake Mountain Alpine Resort to try my hand at mountain biking (and to see if I learnt anything while at Winter Park in Colorado!) and time to explore the town itself.
To follow the adventure be sure to follow the #MyMarysville hash-tag on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
Something Afar – #ChangiAirportVirgins
The last time I visited Singapore I was four-years old. The famed Merlion statue was still being built and as such a young kid I don’t remember much about the trip. Fast-forward 19-years and I’m heading back to Singapore to discover just how far this city has advanced and if it’s still holding on to it’s cultural past.
I usually transit through Hong Kong on my travels but I’ve been told that Singapore’s Changi Airport is one of the best stopover destinations. Within the airport there are pools, a fish spa & reflexology centre, a koi pond, a really big slippery dip, a Butterfly Garden and plenty of duty-free shopping options. The airport also offers complimentary Singapore City Tours for passengers in transit!
With Scoot offering Australians a new choice for low-coast flights Nova’s Fitzy and Wippa headed over to discover what you can do on a stop-over in Changi Airport (and make a bunch of hilarious ‘Changi Airport Virgin’ videos in the process!) I’ll be completing a check-list of tasks to help me go from Changi Airport Virgin to Changi Airport Hero and sharing it through the #ChangiAirportVirgins hash-tag.
Don’t forget to watch Fitzy and Wippa’s videos and you can win a trip to Singapore with a friend by entering the Changi Airport Virgins competition!
My stopover won’t just involve the airport though as I’ll be spending an additional week exploring the sights of the city. What this entails I’m not quite sure yet since I don’t know where to begin so I need your help!
I do know that I’ll be staying at four very different hotels during the week: the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, The Pod – a boutique capsule hotel that I’m hoping will be better than Japan’s Capsule Hotel; the very stylish mOOn Hotel @ 23 Dickson, and the ParkRoyal on Kitchener Road (thanks to the very kind Vicky from Vicky FlipFlop Travels for giving me a voucher for my stay).
Have you ever been to Marysville or Singapore?
Do you have any suggestions for what I should do in Marysville and Singapore?